joined:June 25, 2007
I touched on this in the past, but it is something that I'm starting to be disturbed by...
There is one particular item we make that is an accessory to a device that is becoming fairly popular. So far, our accessory has been pretty much on top as far as what people want. We've been selling them all around the world. Up until now, very few people have started offering anything like it.
So for about the 4th time in the last 8 months or so, I have been approached by people who sell the main device, asking if I will wholesale our accessory to them to bundle with the main device. Problem is, virtually all of them have demanded about 40% discount on average. Our prices are very competitive overall... It's a tough pill to swallow when I think about how hard we work, then getting half the profit we get on direct sales. So you would think... Easy answer then... Just tell them you're not interested. Well, that's what I've politely done on each one. Problem is... All of them then came back and basically said; If I won't sell mine, then they would just start making one like ours. Call me crazy, but why do I feel like I'm being extorted? 'Sell me your product at half your profit, or I'll just make one like yours and steal your business.'
Then on top of that... I also had a major retailer admire a couple other products we offer, and when I said I preferred to sell direct, he hinted that he was going to find someone to make something like what we have then.
Another person who I sold one of our more complicated products to, recently had somebody else make one that basically looks just like ours, only they just added a couple things. He then proceeded to privately email many of our customers and also potential customers in our field, and pitched them on his version, while claiming that it performed better than ours... Specifically naming us and our product in the process. I found out because a friend he sent it to forwarded it to me.
I find it disturbing that all this has transpired in just 8 months or so. I mean, is this what it's like being successful? You just have all these people constantly trying to steal all your ideas? I really don't think there's much I can do legally. None of these items have any sort of earth changing, proprietary technology or anything. I basically just took old ideas and redeveloped them into new things. But I certainly didn't do what these people are doing... I didn't just look at other people's products and blatantly copy them. It took a lot of research and hard work on my part.
Anyway... I'm just venting I guess, but just curious if others go through this kind of thing a lot.